Birmingham City have snapped up a new academy manager in the form of experienced coach Paul Williams, according to Training Ground Guru.
It comes after the departure of the man in the previous role – Mike Dodds – who was promoted back in December following Kristjaan Speakman’s departure to Sunderland, but after 12 years of service to the club Dodds has moved on.
And it’s a St. Andrew’s return for Williams, who is no stranger to the club having been a part of Lee Carsley’s temporary coaching staff in 2017 and then remaining when Steve Cotterill took charge of the club.
Williams possesses a wealth of experience in football, having coached at a whole host of English teams, including coaching the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw at Southampton in the academy, before moving on to the likes of Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Swansea in a senior coaching capacity.
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After he left Birmingham in 2018, Williams went on to have roles at West Brom, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday but he has finally landed back in the Midlands and he looks set to nurture the next generation of Blues talents.
This could be a really shrewd appointment by Birmingham and all signs point towards the club moving in the right direction in all areas.
Things are going well on the pitch for the senior side and Lee Bowyer clearly also recognises that the club has a talented academy and gave chances to the likes of Amari Miller and Ryan Stirk at the end of last season.
Kristjaan Speakman did a fantastic job for many years before Sunderland snapped him up as sporting director, but following Dodds’ departure the onus is now on Williams to bring through the next batch of prospects.
All eyes will be on the younger brother of Jude Bellingham – Jobe – who was on the bench at just 15 years of age for the Blues in the Carabao Cup against Colchester United and it is up to Williams now to get the best out of him and try to get him to follow in the footsteps of his older sibling.